RE: Help in Evaluating HATs

Subject: RE: Help in Evaluating HATs
From: "Jim Morgan" <jmorgan -at- casabyte -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 08:53:11 -0800

I am in the course of the same evaluation, and my test asked a very simple
question: How close is the Help output to the original Word formatting after
going through the most basic steps (import document into project; identify
my custom heading styles for purpose of topic breaks; and click the "build"
button)? Of particular interest was how the products handled the many
outline-numbered steps in the test document, a 70-page administrator manual.

Help & Manual was not viable because of its requirement that the document be
in RTF. Doc-to-Help produced output that looks basically like the Word file
in Word's "Normal" view, with numbered and bulleted lists reproduced
perfectly. The minor problems seem easy to overcome. RoboHelp's output was
an unholy mess, even after I messed with it for hours. An Adobe engineer in
a forum blamed Word's admittedly awful code output, but I note that the
lists produced directly from Word into HTML and viewed in a browser looked
fine, and again, Doc-to-Help had no problem working from the same source

The D2H interface is not intuitive and the conditional text tool is clumsy.
But it seems like D2H will require the fewest upfront hours, and I see no
indication that RoboHelp will ever reproduce our lists correctly (which have
been correctly formatted using Word list styles and thus cause few problems
in Word).

And no, I'm not connected to any of the manufacturers!


Jim Morgan
Senior Technical Writer (Consultant)
Casabyte, Inc.

Opinions are mine alone, your mileage may vary, etc.


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content
delivery. Try it today!

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
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Web-based technology, and PDF output.

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